The world is changing fast, along with the basic unit of the society, the family. The trend is now distancing away from the traditional nuclear family. Single parent, childless, blended, grandparent, adoptive parent, and same sex couple families are some of the increasing variety of families in the society today (A Look at the Different Types of Families in America, 2009). These families, which by a few years back were not accepted, have their differences from the traditional nuclear family and consequently have different effects on the development of a child.
One social issue is due to some societies that are still not accepting these untraditional family structures, especially with the family with gay or lesbian parents. Consequently, the children often feel the ridiculed in their community including in their schools, by their neighbors, and classmates (Fay, 2009). This could lead into a negative social development of the child (pain, insecurity, anger, and hatred towards their community). Another concern is the big impact of single parent families often caused by divorce.
For pre-school children (3 to 5 years of age), they often think that they are responsible for the divorce of their parents which leads to baby-like behaviors (Tenke, 2006). Also according to Tenke, school age children may not be mature enough to understand the pain caused by divorce and they could not control their reactions towards this emotion causing “grief, embarrassment, resentment, divided loyalty and intense anger. ” As an educator, it is very important to be sensitive on these issues of different family types and their specific characteristics.
Educators must be liberal and knowledgeable on this matter enabling them to teach the children understand and accept the different family types. Moreover, it is very important to be careful not to stereotype the nuclear family as the best type or as the “perfect” family, especially in the school lessons or other activities like school plays. Instead, educators must emphasize the importance of the family, focusing on the development of good relationship among the family members.
A Look at the Different Types of Families in America. (2005).Associated Content. com. Retrieved July 16, 2009 from http://www. associatedcontent. com/article/13363/a_look_at_the_different_types_of_families. html? cat=25 Fay, G. (2009). The changing face of family structure and types in America. Helium website. Retrieved July 16, 2009 from http://www. helium. com/items/1077516-family-change-structure-type-same-sex-parents. Tenke, M. W. (2006). The Effects of Divorce on Children. University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension. Retrieved on July 16, 2009 from http://extension. unh. edu/Family/Documents/divorce. pdf.